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Old 05-12-2009, 01:41 PM   #1  
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Joined APC: May 2009
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Default Moving from the office to the cockpit

I am new to this site but I have been reading the forum for a while.

I am sure that something sort of similar has been covered but I wanted recent suggestions and something tailor made to my situation.

I have a PPL with about 100 hours right now. I just turned 27 and I have a four year degree. My plan right now is to finish up my instrument rating and maybe commercial with a Piper Arrow that is owned by family. I want to get about 300-400 hours TT before going to some sort of flight school to finish up to CFII,MEI etc. The Arrow time would be debt free.

Basically I have a good job right now and I want to make a clean break (probably in about 1 and half years but that is not fixed in stone).

I have not had good luck finishing things quickly with Part 61 even when I have had a ton of free time (hard to motivate the instructors sometime). If I quit my job I want something more structured.

I was looking at ATP but I know a lot of people have had problems with them but I like the amount of Twin Time one gets it and I am planning on having the writtens done before I go.

What are some other options I should be considering? As anyone in a similar situation as mine gone to ATP or another flight school and found success? (I also live in Portland, OR which makes flying 4 months out of the year difficult).

Any input for this newbie would be great.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:35 PM   #2  
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Joined APC: Mar 2006
Position: DHC-8 SIC
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Welcome to APC! I see a few items that are very much in your favor.
1. You have a college degree
2. A stable job
3. An airplane owned by the family

Consider the current economic situation and for me, it seems that the best thing for you to do is to definitely keep your job and start on your IR on the Arrow and keep working on it. Again you are in a very good position and I am not sure if now is the time to fast-track it due to obvious economic reasons.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:53 PM   #3  
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I've got a couple things for you. I understand your desire to be a professional pilot, but you should do as much research as you can on the current industry. I hate to put it this way, but you are in no rush to get your ratings done because, frankly, there will be no job for you when you finish. I have over 2000 hrs, and part 121 time and I'm competing for the worst, low paying flying jobs with guys who have 10 times the flight time as I do. I'm not putting down your dream. I'm just being as realistic as possible for you so that you can make good decisions about your training.

Since there is no real rush, there is no reason to spend the money for a fast track program like ATP. Yes, you are attracted by the multi time, but training is not the place to build hours, its the place to get your ratings. Let someone else not only pay for your hours, but pay YOU to get your hours. Find a place to instruct, fly cargo, anything you can do to safely get your hours while getting paid.

Finally, when you decide to get your CFI, know that really the only way to get a CFI gig in this economy is to get hired by the place that you do your CFI at. Your CFI training is an interview for a job at the end. Yes you can go to ATP and get your CFI, CFII and MEI in 45 minutes or whatever they are offering, but thats worthless unless they are going to give you a job at the end. Right now, pretty much the only CFIs that flight schools are hiring are their own brand.

Basically what I'm saying is DO NOT RUSH. Take the time to research and make the right financial and career decisions. This is not the economy that will get you in an RJ with 200 hrs. Take your time and do it right.
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:25 PM   #4  
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I understand your frustration with part 61 training and the long process that instructors can make of it. I left for 141 training to get all my flight training done quickly and with loans. Our situations were different.

You have a good job, I didn't.
You have an airplane to fly, I didn't.
You have instructors slowing you down. I really had money slowing me down, but my instructor was part-time.

My advice:
Keep your job.
Fly the Arrow.
Get a new instructor or more than one. You're the boss, fire your instructor and find a new one. The least you should do is talk to him about it.
Get your instrument, then commercial, then multi-eninge, then all your CFI ratings. Worry about building twin time later.

Have fun. Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:11 PM   #5  
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Joined APC: May 2007
Position: ATP, CFII, MEI, Chief Flight Instructor, Charter Captain CE402, CE421, BE58
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All these guys have made great points and I agree with them. I was laid off in August with 7 other guys. Shortly after that, another 7 or 8 went. I was incredibly lucky that I was doing some instructing on the side and had remained chief flight instructor with the flight school that I did my initial teaching at. I checked with my company I was laid off from and there is only 4 or 5 of us that were able to get flying jobs, and the rest are having to do something else. I changed professions and started flying at 30, so there really isn't any huge rush. The state of things aren't that great, but they'll be back.

Keep your job.
Don't be in a big rush.
Get a different instructor...you are the boss!!!
Keep working on your stuff and enjoy the journey

good luck

papa t
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:13 AM   #6  
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Agreed on either getting your instructor motivated, or if they do not, get a new one. Keep your job, and fly your butt off. Get all the ratings you can. Keep the job until you can get a respectable flying job with the times you'll have.

The market will improve, just don't get sucked into a trap. Keep us informed on any questions and you'll get plenty of opinions and arguements on both sides of the fence. Good Luck
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